Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Emmy Award Nominee Contender Asia Season II Comes to Malaysia


Kuala Lumpur, 22 June 2009 – Contender Asia fans, your favourite Muay Thai reality show will be filmed and produced right here in Malaysia from July to August. At the Contender Asia Season 2 Media Conference today, Tourism Minister Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen congratulated the Osys Group for bringing the USD7 million Hollywood reality TV series to Malaysia. Osys won the much coveted bid against other keen parties such as the USA, Macau, Australia, Thailand and Singapore (who hosted the first season of Contender Asia).

“We see this as an excellent collaboration between the private sector and the Government to promote Malaysia to the world,” said Dr. Ng. “As the host country, we would ensure that the production crew and contestants experience the best of Malaysia’s authentic hospitality. We will also avail our tourism council teams to be at the production team’s beck and call to reduce any red tapes and bureaucracy.”

Mr. Riaz Mehta, Executive Producer of Contender Asia 2and President of Imagine OmniMedia Pte Ltd stated that the continued exposure and promotion of Malaysia with every airing of contender Asia 2 would be worth over USD100 million in media and PR value. The hugely popular and successful Emmy Award nominee Contender Asia Season One was aired in prime time in over 40 countries including the USA, UK, Australia and Asia.

“With Mark Burnet helming the project as producer and being supported by a stellar group of cast and crew, Contender Asia 2 promises to top Season One in terms of quality and a higher calibre of contestants ever seen before on TV,” Mehta added. The illustrious crew include award-winning lighting expert Michael Koepke of Iron Man 1 & 2, and Survivor fame; and award-winning art director Brian Edmonds of Wolverine.

Sixteen of the best Muay Thai fighters from 14 different nations (including 2 from Malaysia) will compete to be the last man standing and earn the Contender title. The fighters will move into the Contender House in the beginning of July and be divided into two groups. Each week, the fighters and their personal dramas as they live and work with each other will be filmed, leading up to the adrenaline pumping elimination face-off in the ring.

Contender Asia will be hosted by local celebrity Marion Caunter and Stephan Fox, the International Co-ordinator and Vice President of the World Muay Thai Council. The 15-episode Contender Asia Season 2 is scheduled to debut on AXN this October.

It won’t all be fighting and personal drama though. The fighters will also be filmed enjoying the beauty and hospitality at the numerous attractions of Malaysia throughout its 40 days of filming such as Mulu Caves, Langkawi, Kellie’s Castle, Penang, Melaka, Terengganu, Lata Jarum in Pahang, Batu Caves and homestays in Selangor, Sabah, Kuala Lumpur and a dinner cruise at Putrajaya.

“I am confident that the tremendous publicity that can be generated by Contender Asia Season 2 will help raise awareness of all that Malaysia has to offer and to entice foreign tourists to visit our country and consider participating in our Malaysia My Second Home program,” Dr. Ng concluded.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Contender Asia Season 2 will help promote tourism in Malaysia

Kickboxing reality show gives tourism big punch
By : R.S. Kamini

Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen showing off the ‘Contender Asia’ championship belt. With her are  (from left) Malaysian Muay Thai fighter Bernard Radin, ‘Contender Asia 2’ executive producer Riaz Mehta, Osys group of companies managing director Muhd Shahnaz Azmi, World Muay Thai Council vice-president and show host Stephan Fox and Malaysian fighter Faizal Ramli.
Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen showing off the ‘Contender Asia’ championship belt. With her are (from left) Malaysian Muay Thai fighter Bernard Radin, ‘Contender Asia 2’ executive producer Riaz Mehta, Osys group of companies managing director Muhd Shahnaz Azmi, World Muay Thai Council vice-president and show host Stephan Fox and Malaysian fighter Faizal Ramli.

KUALA LUMPUR: Muay Thai kickboxing reality show Contender Asia will serve as the Tourism Ministry's single biggest channel to promote Malaysia's exotic locations until the end of the year.

Season 2 of the show will start filming next month at 11 destinations, including four Unesco World Heritage sites in Malacca, Penang, Sarawak and Langkawi.

Other locations are Kellie's Castle, Perak; Lata Jarum Waterfalls, Pahang; Batu Caves and homestay programmes in Selangor; tattoo and tribal villages in Sabah; Terengganu beaches; Petronas Twin Towers; and a dinner cruise at Putrajaya

The show, expected to air in October, will have 16 fighters from 14 countries competing for "The Contender" title at a purpose-built set in Petaling Jaya.

Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said the projected revenue spin-offs from it would not only boost tourism but elevate Malaysia's profile as a modern, progressive, charming and peaceful country.
The show is expected to be watched by 1.2 billion viewers in 60 countries.

Dr Ng said: "I hope Contender Asia can increase awareness of the wonderful sights and sounds of Malaysia as a preferred holiday destination or the best option for a second home."

She said the ministry expected a good promotion for Malaysia My Second Home Programme through the show.

She has directed tourism action councils at the respective destinations to support the filming and minimise red tape when dealing with local authorities.

She was speaking at a press conference to announce that Malaysia would host the kick-boxing show.

Malaysia won the US$1 million (RM3.5 million) bid to bring the cast and crew of Contender Asia through Osys Group, an open system developer which also specialises in biotechnology and aviation industries.

Group managing director Muhd Shahnaz Azm said Malaysia was lucky to have won the bid as 10 countries, including Thailand, where Muay Thai originated, had submitted bids.

Two local Muay Thai fighters will represent the country in this season's show, which comprises 15 weekly elimination rounds followed by the final round to win US$250,000.

Contender Asia was one of the highest-rated reality television shows that achieved the No. 1 spot when it aired on the AXN channel between January and April last year.

Berita Harian

Malaysia tuan rumah The Contender Asia

KUALA LUMPUR : Malaysia dipilih sebagai tuan rumah kepada program realiti Hollywood, The Contender Asia musim kedua, apabila syarikat Bumiputera, Kumpulan Osys, memenangi bidaan RM3.5 juta mengalahkan lima negara iaitu Amerika Syarikat, Macau, Thailand, Singapura dan Australia.

Program realiti yang menjadikan Singapura lokasi penggambaran pertama tahun lalu itu akan membawa peserta ke 11 lokasi di negara ini iaitu di Gua Mulu, Pulau Langkawi, A Famosa Melaka, Batu Caves, Terengganu, Pulau Pinang, Istana Kellie di Perak.

Menteri Pelancongan, Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen berkata, The Contender Asia itu dilihat mampu mempromosikan Malaysia sebagai destinasi pelancongan berikutan program realiti yang diperkenalkan tahun lalu itu dijangka ditontoni 1.2 bilion penonton di seluruh dunia.

“Saya percaya menjadi hos The Contender Asia dapat membantu dalam usaha ini,” katanya, semalam.

TV Reality Show Contender Asia Season 2 to begin filming next month

The Star

Tuesday June 23, 2009
Reality TV show set to be a knockout for M’sia

KUALA LUMPUR: The attractions Malaysia has to offer will gain global exposure when reality TV show The Contender Asia Season 2 begins filming next month.

The 15-episode series – on the quest by 16 Muay Thai fighters from around the globe for the coveted title of “The Contender Asia” – will feature the Mulu Caves in Sarawak, Langkawi, Kellie’s Castle in Perak and Penang among its 11 location sites.

The programme will also see shooting in Malacca, Terengganu, Lata Jarum in Pahang and Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur.

The fighters would also be exposed to homestays in Selangor, tattooing and tribal ceremonies in Sabah, the Twin Towers, shopping, infrastructure, nightlife, parks and cultural highlights in Kuala Lumpur and a dinner cruise in Putrajaya.

Ready to rumble: Dr Ng (centre) posing with the Contender Asia championship belt along with (from left) Malaysian contender Bernard Radin, Contender Asia 2 executive producer Riaz Mehta, Osys Group MD Muhammad Shahnaz Azmi, Fox and another contender, Muhammad Faizal Ramli, in Kuala Lumpur yesterday

Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said the hugely popular programme would give Malaysia a competitive advantage as a top-of-mind holiday destination.

“It also reflects our commitment to promote Malaysia as a preferred venue for TV productions of this stature,” she told a press conference at her office here yesterday.

The US$7mil (RM25mil) production is expected to have an audience of 1.2 billion viewers across 60 countries.

Dr Ng said the projected revenue from aggressive marketing, promotions and related sponsorship packages will give a much needed boost to tourism and the economic growth of the country.

International reality shows filmed in Malaysia previously included Survivor and The Amazing Race Asia.

The Contender Asia Season 2, hosted by Marion Caunter and World Muay Thai Council vice-president Stephen Fox, is scheduled to debut on AXN (Astro Channel 701) in October.

For more information on The Contender Asia, visit